Rage Against The Machine's Christmas Number One lead over 'X Factor' narrows

Joe McElderry winner gaining on 'Killing In The Name'

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Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' was 8,923 sales ahead of Joe McElderry's 'The Climb' in the race for the Christmas Number One as of the end of yesterday (December 17).

The X Factor winner is gaining on the US rockers, having trailed behind them by 36,681 copies 24 hours previously, according to leaked midweek chart figures. As of last night 'The Climb' had sold 297,192 this week compared to 'Killing In The Name''s 306,115.

The BBC was forced to apologise yesterday when Rage Against The Machine played an expletive-ridden version of the song live on BBC Radio 5live.

Joe McElderry, meanwhile, recently revealed that he has never heard the song (or indeed anything by Rage Against The Machine) before.

Simon Cowell has slammed the Facebook campaign to get Rage to the top spot, calling it "stupid", "cynical" and "very Scrooge".

For more on The X Factor and its effect on British music, get the new issue of NME, on UK newsstands nationwide, for an exclusive interview with Cowell.

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